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Short-Rows: A New Method

Aug 15, 2014
    
Gentle Waves Bag by Myra Wood.
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Short-rows are a valuable tool to have in your knitting tool box. You can use them to add length to one section of a garment—I did that in our current knit-along, the Kayleen Pullover.

Since I carry weight in my midsection, my tops usually hang a little higher in the front than in the back. I added a little over two inches of short-rows to the front, which will make my top hang even all the way around.

To figure out how many short-rows to work to add the length I wanted, I used my row gauge. I'm getting 8 rows to the inch, and since I wanted to add two and a half inches to the front, I worked two sets of ten short-rows, about three inches apart.

I could have worked one set of twenty short-rows, but I didn't want the section to look like a pouch, so I decided to break them up.

The trick to really making short-rows work is to effectively hide the wraps. Our method of working short-rows (knit side, purl side), does a nice job hiding the wraps, but I learned a new method for hiding wraps on the knit side, one that works even better!

In episode #1302 of Knitting Daily TV with Vickie Howell, Vickie and Myra Wood demonstrate how to knit short-row wedges to make the Gentle Waves Bag, shown at left.

Myra works short-rows almost the same way as I do, but instead of slipping the stitch purlwise on the knit side, she slips it knitwise. When hiding the wrap, she brings the wrap over the left needle from front to back, placing it to the left of the slipped stitch on the right needle. Then she knits the stitch and the wrap together through the back loop. Here's how it works:

Wrap-and-turn process completed.
The wrap has been moved over the left needle, from front to back.
This moves the wrap behind the slipped stitch.
Knitting the wrap and the stitch together, through the back loop. Knitting the two together through the back loop keeps the wrap behind the stitch. This position hides the wrap more effectively.
Beautiful! The hidden wraps don't show at all.
I'm going to use this method from now on. By the way, Myra uses the same technique that I do when she works short-rows on the purl side.

For more about short-rows, and tons more knitting techniques, tips and tricks, and interesting insights into the world of knitting, get series 1300 of Knitting Daily TV with Vickie Howell on DVD. And I'm featured in the Space-to-Space segment of the Short-Stuff episode!

Cheers,

P.S. Have you used short-rows in your projects? Leave a comment and tell us how they worked for you!


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Comments

leah13 wrote
on Aug 28, 2014 1:55 PM

@ ladrig;

I sometimes find a stitch that is too big where the row turns.  Have not found out why this happens.  This is not elegant.  I pull the extra thread to the back of the work and put it a stitch marker on it.  When I get to sewing in the ends I sew down the long loop too with yarn or sewing thread. Looks awful on the back, so you could only use it where the inside does not show.

leah13 wrote
on Aug 28, 2014 1:40 PM

I have been doing  stuffed animals ("Amigurlumi Knit"s by Hansi Singh.),  which use short rows  everywhere!  I tried several methods of doing short rows and liked shadow rows best.  One tip I would give for short row ...swatch it.  How a short row looks also depends on your yarn.

www.knittingdaily.com/.../sock-knitting-shadow-wrap-short-rows.aspx

 I could not find #1302 of Knitting Daily except on an expensive  CD,  so I do not understand how your method differs from the one on the TV show or even what method was used on the TV show.

on Aug 28, 2014 10:28 AM

I love short rows especially for gloves/mittens the last 4 rounds before the base of the fingers I do a short row between the ring and little finger then between the middle and ring finger.  You get a glove/mitten that follows the shape of your fingers.

laldrig wrote
on Aug 22, 2014 10:10 AM

I use short rows constantly to shape garments and avoid seaming. I use the method you demonstrate all the time, and like the look. My one issue with short rows happens when I knit in the round. As long as I'm going back and forth, I can hide the wrap, but when I'm knitting in the round, while completing the first row after the short row, the wrap that would have been purled creates a big, loose loop in my work.  I pick up and knit the wrap exactly as I do all the others (same method you show above) and the wrap is in the back, so you don't see the wrap....but you do see a loose stitch in front I am not sure why this happens. Somehow the tension of the work goes all loose. I have tried knitting the wrap with the previous stitch, stretching the wrap farther behind the work, to adjust the tension, but I don't really like that, either. Does anyone else have this problem? How have you solved it?

laldrig wrote
on Aug 22, 2014 10:09 AM

I use short rows constantly to shape garments and avoid seaming. I use the method you demonstrate all the time, and like the look. My one issue with short rows happens when I knit in the round. As long as I'm going back and forth, I can hide the wrap, but when I'm knitting in the round, while completing the first row after the short row, the wrap that would have been purled creates a big, loose loop in my work.  I pick up and knit the wrap exactly as I do all the others (same method you show above) and the wrap is in the back, so you don't see the wrap....but you do see a loose stitch in front I am not sure why this happens. Somehow the tension of the work goes all loose. I have tried knitting the wrap with the previous stitch, stretching the wrap farther behind the work, to adjust the tension, but I don't really like that, either. Does anyone else have this problem? How have you solved it?

smyrnastitch wrote
on Aug 18, 2014 1:20 PM

That new method of working short rows looks very interesting! I'm going to have to give it a try the next time I need that technique.

The part of it that intriques me, though, is not which direction the stitch is slipped, nor working the stitches through the back, but that the wrap is over the needle. I've had a very difficult time with my wraps being way too tight, and I think that would solve that problem immediately. The aspects of slipping the stitch the other way and working through the back loops are likely to help as well.

Thanks for the tips!

on Aug 17, 2014 10:17 AM

New? LOL

Lee Wells wrote
on Aug 16, 2014 4:25 PM

I have been using short rows to shape the shoulders of top down sweaters with set in sleeves for my husband for many years.  Our local library in New Jersey had a copy of Barbara Walker's book Knitting from the Top soon after it was published.  Her method made so much sense I eventually bought a copy of the book for myself and have  followed her ideas ever since.  (the book is getting tattered now)  Knitting a sweater that fits well is much more satisfying than making one that doesn't fit as well and takes no longer.  Lee

Angeluna wrote
on Aug 16, 2014 2:42 PM

Sadly, I must agree with pjd15583 and Carla@50 that Vicki Howell is a most disappointing host for Knitting Daily. The show feels ADD. When one has an expert guest, why interrupt? Constantly? I'm interested in what the instructor has to say, not the host.

Angeluna wrote
on Aug 16, 2014 2:42 PM

Sadly, I must agree with pjd15583 and Carla@50 that Vicki Howell is a most disappointing host for Knitting Daily. The show feels ADD. When one has an expert guest, why interrupt? Constantly? I'm interested in what the instructor has to say, not the host.

carla@50 wrote
on Aug 16, 2014 10:46 AM

Yes, this may not be the place, but I agree with pjd15583 completely. The Knitting Daily show is barely recognizable. She cut off one guest as she started to explain a stitch saying "we'll come back to that" ..but she never did.

carla@50 wrote
on Aug 16, 2014 10:45 AM

Yes, this may not be the place, but I agree with pjd15583 completely. The Knitting Daily show is barely recognizable. She cut off one guest as she started to explain a stitch saying "we'll come back to that" ..but she never did.

vickidorith wrote
on Aug 15, 2014 9:12 PM

I have made a gorgeous rainbow shawl using a pattern called Wingspan.  It was very effective.

vickidorith wrote
on Aug 15, 2014 9:12 PM

I have made a gorgeous rainbow shawl using a pattern called Wingspan.  It was very effective.

vickidorith wrote
on Aug 15, 2014 9:12 PM

I have made a gorgeous rainbow shawl using a pattern called Wingspan.  It was very effective.

Nuffin wrote
on Aug 15, 2014 8:32 PM

I would need to see a You-Tube video of this as I just don't get it - stupid, I know.  I usually use the German short rows method as for me it's so much easier than traditional short rows as you don't have to "pick up the wraps" which are often difficult for me to see.

gerdaporter wrote
on Aug 15, 2014 1:47 PM

Love this tech tip! I have always done these the old way, this looks much tidier!

BIV58 wrote
on Aug 15, 2014 1:03 PM

I have used short rows recently when I knitted the Ojo de Dios pattern. It worked beautifuly and the wraps did not show. It may have to do with the yarn and the color patterning, as well as the technique?

PS I donated the shawl for a charity raffel and it brought $160.  Really thrilled me.

on Aug 15, 2014 12:22 PM

This is the preferred method I teach at my national knitting technique seminars and classes, and have used it for over 25 years in my own knitwear design and repair tasks.  Thanks for photographing it and putting words to this useful approach.   Something to add...for those of you who short row on the fly, but like to keep track of your work, use markers too, so you can see where you're plotting the short rows positions.    Best to you in your knitting!   Morgan Hicks, All Points Yarn

indadell wrote
on Aug 15, 2014 11:28 AM

I would like to receive knitting daily via email.  How do I sign up for it?  or can you just add me to your email?  I would also like the pattern for the bag you are showing for your short rows.  Thanks

cindye64 wrote
on Aug 15, 2014 10:04 AM

Love. Short rows for my sock heels, but sometimes not satisfied with the

Finished look.  This method of lifting the wrapped st in front of the slipped st

And then knitting thru the back look wonderful. I will definitely try this!!

pjd15583 wrote
on Aug 15, 2014 9:38 AM

My comment is not about short rows (I do like the new method), but it is about Vicki Howell!  I cannot find another place to send my comment so I'll add it here, hopefully someone will read it.

I love that Knitting Daily is on, but Vicki Howell is an extremely poor choice for a host. This is just Knitty Gritty all over again.  I would have expected by now that her performance would be more polished and not so wooden.  She is uncomfortable when she presents, cuts off the person explaining the knitting, and generally gives the show a very amateur appearance.  As I said Knitty Gritty redux.  It even looks the same. The segment from her "studio" generally has the voice and picture not synchronized.  

Also, what the heck good is the "Tanis Grey" segment when you don't even bother to give the names of the products being shown??????????????????????

The Euny KD looks so much more professional.

meowkie wrote
on Aug 15, 2014 9:19 AM

I found an amazing pattern for a mans scarf done with short rows as a large spiral of triangular cells. Using two colours of merino wool and silk this beautiful scarf draped like a jabeau and was so soft and gentle on the throat. My son would never have worn anything around his neck but this was so different and luxurious. I made it long enough to wrap twice and still have generous tails. He wears it every chance he gets and gets compliments everywhere he goes. The short rows created a dramatic effect I could never achieve any other way.

wesben wrote
on Aug 15, 2014 8:17 AM

after discovering the Shadow Short Row Method, I will never again dink around with wraps.  Shadow wraps look nice, don't require wrapps or markers and they are fast.  I no longer dread patterns that empoy short rows...I actually enjoy them now.

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on Aug 15, 2014 8:15 AM

Apart from turning heels, the first short rows I did were for a shawl collar where I wanted to build up the back to make a nice warm neck without a lot of bulk in the front.  The next time was to shape the shoulders of a traditional fair isle sleeveless pullover.  I have used that technique for shoulders ever since and feel that the technique really transforms one's approach to knitting.  It is right up there with learning mattress stitch to sew a vertical seam.  The results are so much more satisfactory.

Sincerely, Wendy Leigh-Bell

Laura wrote
on Aug 15, 2014 8:09 AM

Not new to me!